Mudcat Café message #2206690 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #106626   Message #2206690
Posted By: Les in Chorlton
02-Dec-07 - 06:57 AM
Thread Name: Songs for the Winter Solstice
Subject: RE: Songs for the Winter Solstice
I choose the Synod of Whitby as a marker of the re-emergence of Christianity in these Islands. I don't think everybody changed overnight. I am trying to get some sense of historical time. I think, and historians can correct me, that most people were some kind of non-christian pagans at that time and that now almost nobody is. My reading of English history leads me to think that organised paganism had gone by the time the Normans arrived although bits and pieces have survived. Is any of this contentious?

"Why are you expecting winter solstice songs to have fared better?"

I don't, perhaps on this we agree?

OK "wish to believe" is patronising - believe would have been better and as I said it's none of my business. It cannot be otherwise since I do not know and you have not explained in any detail what it is they know or believe. I have no problem with that either.

"The struggles over religious practice , certainly since the Reformation, have been between different versions of Christianity, not some long term attempt to suppress paganism."


"The Stations of the Sun" Ronald Hutton, Oxford University Press, 1996. Probably the most extensive study of the ritual year in Britain. This is an absolutely fascinating study. 500 odd pages with extensive references and notes.

Guy Fawkes was burned for being a Catholic plotter against the Crown not for being a pagan and we are still doing it in Lewes every year.

Their is lots and lots of evidence for what people have been doing in Britain and how that has changed through time. The Church has been the biggest and almost always the only major player at least that what Hutton, a man who has studied this more than almost anyone else as far as I can tell.

"I think you might find the picture from the past is a lot more complex than your theory."

I don't have a theory. When people say things about the past that are unusual I simply ask why they believe it and what is the evidence.

A number of faiths are based on men getting information from god on stone tablets. They write this down in books and start religions. Lots of people believe these religions. Just because lots of people believe something it doesn't mean it's true.

I believe their is a living tradition of songs and tunes and odd bits of drama. When people say things about this living tradition I want to know if it is simply what they believe or it is based in something that we would all believe if we saw the evidence.